Fantasy Hockey ONE (3/14)


There was something lost in all this Ilya Bryzgalov talk and that of course would be Kari Lehtonen.  Sure Bryzgalov has a shutout streak that seems to keep going at around ten periods or so, Lehtonen quietly plays on a team that faces a ton of shots and high quality chances.  Not all numbers are created equal as we know and right now it just seems that Dallas cannot lose, similar to what Mike Smith and Phoenix pulled off in February.  Will Dallas and Lehtonen crumble?  The answer seems to be not quite yet.

Overall, there were lots of good fantasy results last night in the NHL.  Who was the Fantasy POTN?  Now seems like a good idea to find out.



Kari Lehtonen, G, Dallas Stars — Yes it was against Minnesota, I know I know.  However a 25 save road shutout gets the nod just barely on one of those nights where there just seemed to be a little more balanced scoring than expected. Does anyone even realize that Lehtonen has a 2.21 GAA and .925 save percentage with 29 wins and four shutouts?  Probably not, unless you own him on your fantasy squad.  Those are better numbers than Tim Thomas for example.  That may be a bit of a bad example but Lehtonen’s quiet consistency cannot be kept quiet any longer and why he was worthy of last night’s award.  Keep on starting him.



Ilya Bryzgalov, G, Philadelphia Flyers — Everything is humangous in Philadelphia as Bryzgalov has gotten it together for now.  The 196:13 shutout streak is very impressive and fantasy owners who actually stuck with this guy have to be wondering where this Bryzgalov was all season.  Either way it is better late than never.  Can this type of streak continue?  Surely, the Russian netminder will give up goals but his positioning, movement, and confidence are all light year’s better than the lowpoint reached on January 2nd.  By the end of the year, Bryzgalov could be below a 2.50 GAA and above a .910 save percentage.  Considering where he was, that is saying something as a goalie who has been one of the tops in the second half.

Steven Stamkos, C/W, Tampa Bay Lightning — Tampa had maybe 7 or 8 scoring chances last night (it felt like it) and six of them went in.  It was that kind of night where Tampa rode a four goal first period and coasted to a 6-1 win.  Lost in all of the woe is Boston was the fact that Steven Stamkos scored twice to give him 50 goals on the year.  Stamkos has been on fire lately with 13 goals and 9 assists in his last 13 games.  While this not on the level of the Crosby run from last season (50 points in 25 games), people forget that the biggest fantasy key for Stamkos this year is the ability to play at a more sustained level.  Tampa still has a shot at the playoffs and Mr. Stamkos will lead the scoring brigade for them.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Teams Notes
Colorado at Buffalo 7:30 PM | Gameday
Ottawa at Montreal 7:30 PM | Gameday
Dallas at Winnipeg 8:30 PM | Gameday
Columbus at Edmonton 10:00 PM | Gameday
Phoenix at Vancouver 10:00 PM | Gameday
Detroit at Anaheim 10:00 PM | Gameday

There are some fun numbers and quite a few must win games tonight in the NHL for a six game schedule.  Let’s make this quick and painless for a couple of our potential bests.



Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo Sabres — If there was a time for Miller to come up big for fantasy owners, it is tonight as the Colorado Avalanche come into town.  Both teams are battling to get into the playoffs but Miller has been hot to say the least as has Semyon Varlamov.  It will be interesting to see if Colorado plays Varalmov back to back or not.  Miller has a 8-1-1 record with a 1.76 GAA and .946 save percentage over his last ten.  If he keeps playing like that, Buffalo still has a shot of making the playoffs but they are going to have to win in regulation or overtime.  in the nicest of ways, START him please.

Sedin Twins, W/C, Vancouver Canucks — The slump has reached proportions that have now driven fantasy owners completely insane.  Henrik Sedin is on an eight game pointless streak while Daniel Sedin has not seen a point in five games.  Now speedster Mason Raymond is being thrown on the top line to spark two guys who have been banged around quite a bit in the last few weeks.  Think about it, if you have fast players who can hit a bit, they can defend the twins pretty well.  Sure they may get their points but right now, that is not even happening.  The speed of Raymond with some physical defensemen may just be what the doctor ordered but the schedule may be more of a panacea.  There should be points tonight.


Good luck everyone tonight and thanks again for reading.  Do not forget that The Program goes two hours strong on Hump Night with a special tribute to A Steak And A BJ day.

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!